Alt Rock

Metric Energizes and Electrifies Audience at ACL Live

Trudeau is under investigation, maple syrup is being diluted with corn syrup but Canada’s greatest export are still as potent and powerful as ever.  Indie rockers, Metric, came to ACL Live on Saturday night and leveled the crowd with an evocative and ear-pinning set.  The opening set from tenured Mexican space rockers, Zoe, gave the show an exciting outset, and a sense of North American bonhomie, with all three nations present. A 16-song set from the headliner would eventually satiate even the most rabid Metric fans.

Emily Haines…. That name is enshrined in the psyche of men and women alike as a goddess who deserves to be fanned and worshipped until the pillars of civilization fall. Haines has a cavalier but seductive air about her that has not lessened since the band began in 1998. Yet the transcendental baptism truly immerses listeners when Haines begins to sing, her vocals pristine and effortless. Sauntering around the stage with a panther-like gait, Haines owns every inch of her path, assiduously stealing the focus of every single member of the audience. 

The show erupted with the sugary “Love You Back” and quickly segued into a sneeringly addictive “Synthetica”.  Guitarist, James Shaw, played an electrifying counterbalance to Haines, unleashing his frenetic energy on songs like “Risk” and “Gold Guns Girls”.  An early set crescendo was reached when a newer hit, “Dressed to Suppress” was played with all the cocksure moxie the band could muster, and followed with the vulnerable and uplifting, “Breathing Underwater”. 

A nostalgic reminiscing took place mid-set, where Haines ruminated on earlier Austin shows that featured BBQ, Barton Springs and playing Stubbs. Yet the driving momentum was hardly diminished and the band then plowed into the surprise of the night, “Cascades”, which had disco charm and a futuristic cocktail party vibe. Little did the audience know that a ‘Sophie’s Choice’ was soon about to be foisted on them by Haines.

 

“This is the existential part of the set where I decide whether to embrace a time of innocence for the band, or a time of recklessness – Should we play ‘Gimme Sympathy’ or ‘Dead Disco’?”

 

Despite my own decibel and octave levels reaching Everest-esque heights for “Dead Disco”, it was “Gimme Sympathy” that would be played, with little to no complaining on m end. The building inertia was only further propelled by “Gold Guns Girls”, which layered Haines’ sirenic vocals over frenzied drums and guitars.

An encore of “Dark Saturday”, “Now or Never Now” and the audio equivalent of Thor’s hammer, “Help I’m Alive”, would conclude a colossal show. A curious energy shot through the audience; a motley mix of liberation, adoration and even aggression (a fight broke out in front of me) swirled into the ether. Whatever your motives were for seeing Metric, old fans and new, the sheer force of their sound and eclectic emotional range was delivered with devastating effectiveness, and we  the audience, were gifted the with a 90 minute escape from ourselves.

   

M. Lockwood Porter releases passionate “Get Back to the Wild”

M. Lockwood Porter’s single off his forthcoming EP, Communion In The Ashes (out March 29, 2019) is a what a good folk-Americana song is supposed to be: it’s solid folksy rock infused with cultural heritage and the frustrations of our roots. Think Mountain Goats and Neutral Milk Hotel met the passion of There Will be Blood’s Eli--but less creepy, less religiously obsessed. After teaching in San Francisco for over a decade, Porter’s songwriting began to really reflect what he saw. He writes of the frustration of gentrification, of the sometimes heartless culture of change. In his own words, “The tech boom of the last 10 years has totally transformed the whole Bay Area and essentially made it a playground for the rich...Working-class folks and artists aren't welcome there anymore and this has manifested in rising housing costs, closure of music venues, and the proliferation of homeless tent cities.” His album is an angry-beautiful homage to the people of San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley. Give this song a listen, stay tuned for the full EP, and catch him at Amnesia on April 19. -Michelle Kicherer, Associate Editor

   

The Deli Philly's Featured Artist(s) Poll Winner: Lazy Eye

After seeing fellow Philly artist Kississippi perform at a DIY show during their first semester at college, Hannah LaRocca became inspired to start writing their very own songs. With Lazy Eye, the moniker represents a “liberating” way for LaRocca to put a positive spin on a childhood insecurity. What began as a solo bedroom project has now blossomed into a full-fledged band with support from high school pal Maddie Blank (on bass and backing vocals), brother Connor LaRocca (on lead guitar), and Amber Ferreira (on drums). The band dropped its first album, Mental Chillness, together at the beginning of this year, which was recorded and mixed by Kyle Pulley at the Headroom. The group is looking to hit the road this summer, and is currently in the process of working on new material. Please feel free to check out our latest Featured Artist(s) interview with Lazy Eye's Hannah LaRocca HERE

   

The Deli Philly's Featured Artist(s) Poll Winner: Lazy Eye

After seeing fellow Philly artist Kississippi perform at a DIY show during their first semester at college, Hannah LaRocca became inspired to start writing their very own songs. With Lazy Eye, the moniker represents a “liberating” way for LaRocca to put a positive spin on a childhood insecurity. What began as a solo bedroom project has now blossomed into a full-fledged band with support from high school pal Maddie Blank (on bass and backing vocals), brother Connor LaRocca (on lead guitar), and Amber Ferreira (on drums). The band dropped its first album, Mental Chillness, together at the beginning of this year, which was recorded and mixed by Kyle Pulley at the Headroom. The group is looking to hit the road this summer, and is currently in the process of working on new material. Please feel free to check out our latest Featured Artist(s) interview with Lazy Eye's Hannah LaRocca below! 

The Deli: How did you start making music? 

Hannah LaRocca: So Lazy Eye was originally my solo bedroom project. Maddie (Blank) and I actually have been singing together since we were in chorus in high school, and had tried our hand a few times with some bands that were all dudes; needless to say, that didn’t work out. First year of college, I had moved to Philly, and started going to DIY shows. I saw Kississippi during my first semester, and it was the first woman I had seen doing DIY shows. Seeing her play gave me the inspiration to just do it, and I started on writing my own songs.

Down the line, probably a year and a half later or so, I dropped my first self-recorded EP, and started playing shows. Over the summer of 2017, my brother (Connor LaRocca) and I had talked about making Lazy Eye a band, and I knew I wanted Maddie to be a part of it too. The only reason Connor and I hadn’t collaborated sooner was due to different styles mostly; plus, he was still in high school till 2017 so I didn’t see him very much. Though down the line, we’ve definitely been able to find common ground stylistically between us, and I love working with my brother.

We had some real trouble finding a drummer for a bit; that is up until I met Amber (Ferreira) after playing a solo set at her house. I came back a few days later to pick up my PA, and she told me to play at their house again soon. I was like - “Yeah I’d love to! I’m actually trying to get a band together, but I haven’t been able to find a drummer.” She was like - “I play drums!” I told her to hit me up if she was interested, and she did not long after. The rest is history. 

TD: Where did the name Lazy Eye come from? 

HL: It’s funny; a lot of people assume we’re named after the song by the Silversun Pickups. However, I actually have a lazy eye. It was something I was very insecure about growing up, and I suppose it was kind of liberating in a way to slap that on my art. It gave me a more positive way to relate to my wonky eye.

TD: What are your biggest musical influences?

HL: King Krule’s 6 Feet Beneath the Moon has definitely been the largest influence on how I play guitar. I learned nearly every song on that album, and it changed the way I wrote entirely. Other than that, I’ve always loved the brute honesty of Amy Winehouse, the quiet and beautiful emotionality of Mitski, as well as irreverent artists like Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holliday.

TD: What artists (local, national and/or international) are you currently listening to?

HL: Wild Painting, Orion Sun, Ariana Grande.

Maddie Blank: Soccer Mommy, Men I Trust, Kendrick Lamar.

Amber Ferreira: Boogie, James Blake, Dumbo Gets Mad.

Connor LaRocca: Deerhoof, Ponytail, and Swell Maps.

TD: What's the first concert that you ever attended and first album that you ever bought?

HL: The actual first concert I ever went to was actually an Alicia Keys concert with my mom. The first concert I ever went to on my own was Foster the People in 2012. 

As for the first album I ever bought, after scrolling ALL the way back in my iTunes library (the same one I’ve had since 3rd or 4th grade), the actual first FULL album I bought was A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out by Panic! At the Disco.

TD: What do you love about Philly?

HL: I think Philly has a certain sense of community that you don’t find in other cities. People tend to be accepting of others at face value, and the people who grew up and still live here are the warmest kind of people you could meet (despite outsider’s ideas of the city). Philly DIY is huge, and has been the basis of many successful artists that have come out from it. There’s a huge community that, for the most part, is open and supportive.

TD: What do you hate about Philly?

HL: Honestly, and this is just geographical, but Philly has TERRIBLE weather. It’s either freezing cold and windy, or hot and SUPER humid. You’re lucky to have a day in between with normal weather. 

Other than that, in terms of DIY, I think it can be somewhat segregated. It’s gotten better in the past few years, but it’s still very centered around all white male bands. I can say confidently that the platform has opened up to many more artists from different backgrounds since, say, 2015 or so, but there is still MUCH work to be done in terms of representation and making room for other kinds of artists.

TD: What are your plans for 2019?

HL: As of now, Lazy Eye is back in the writing process, so it’d be cool to crank out at least one single. Other than that, we’re looking to tour over the summer probably, and will most likely do a music video at some point.

TD: What was your most memorable live show?

HL: As a solo act, my 3rd live performance as Lazy Eye probably. It was early summer of 2017, and I was playing at a place called Trash House. It was SO hot, and I remember being VERY nervous and sweating profusely cause it was humid as hell - that Philly weather! I was covering a song I had played 1000 times and completely forgot the rest of it in the middle of playing. I was embarrassed to say the least.

As a band, probably our first show back on Halloween 2017. Any other band I had played with before that were pretty much solely cover bands, so to play music I had actually written, for the first time with my wonderful band, was definitely a moment I’ll never forget.

TD: What's your favorite thing to get at the deli?

HL: Like sandwiches? If I can find a good veggie hoagie at a deli, I’m usually sold!

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Alexis V.
   

Big Eyes rage against the rich on "Lucky You," play Union Pool 3.30

New York power-pop group Big Eyes have no qualms calling out a comfy, wealthy existence in their new video for “Lucky You.” As syncopated Gibson guitar lines interweave scenes of the band drinking champagne and snorting caviar, frontwoman Kait Eldridge sarcastically praises “sleeping through the afternoon” and the benefits of a life without worry. While the lyrics are embedded with a punk attitude, the track offers good production values with a rather polished (yet distorted) guitar sound and tight rhythmic breakdowns, delivering a punchy anthem for those of us who still have to hustle for a dime. Watch it below, and catch them at Union Pool on March 30th, supported by Metaled and Moral Panic. -Connor Beckett McInerney (@b_ck_tt)